The achilles tendon is the biggest and strongest tendon in the human body and connects the calf muscle at the back of your lower leg to your heel bone. Achilles tendinopathy is an overuse injury. This can occur both where the Achilles attaches to the heel bone or in the mid-portion of the tendon.
Symptoms of pain and stiffness are usually localized to the tendon area. You might experience tenderness or stiffness, especially in the morning. Some people have pain during exercise but, in general, pain is worse after exercise. There may also be some swelling around this area.
Physiotherapy uses a combination of approaches to treat an Achilles tendinopathy. This can range from modifying biomechanics, stretching and strengthening exercises, orthotics, manual therapy, electrotherapy, taping or dry needling.
While it may not be possible to prevent Achilles tendinopathy, you can take measures to reduce your risk:
- Increase your activity level gradually.
- Take it easy.
- Choose your shoes carefully.
- Increase or Maintain your flexibility with regular stretching and exercise.
- Strengthen your calf muscles.
- Be mindful of your training surface.